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Tubino leads Army in bringing down pesky Lady Maroons

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The Philippine Army Lady Troopers banked on Honey Royse Tubino’s 28-point-explosion to defeat the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons 23-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-23, to end their Shakeys V- League Reinforced Conference elimination campaign with an unblemished record at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Troopers found themselves at a 19-14 disadvantage against the Lady Maroons in the first set, and needed to rely on Tubino to get back and tie things at 23. Marian Buitre and Nicole Tiamzon then provided crucial points for the Diliman-based squad to avoid a collapse at the end of the set.

Tubino scored a drop shot through the Lady Maroons floor defense to give Army a 12-6 lead in the second set. Jovelyn Gonzaga and Nerissa Bautista also joined in overwhelming the younger Lady Maroons squad. Justine Dorog and Tiamzon tried to keep the Lady Maroons in touch, but Army had a response to every rally the Lady Maroons tried to start.

Tubino and Gonzaga continued their dominance in the following set as UP struggled to fight back against the experienced Army. But the Lady Maroons quickly blasted Army in the fourth set with 13-9 lead courtesy of Isa Molde, Kathy Bersola, and Dorog. Errors from the Lady Maroons and timely points from Gonzaga, Remy Palma, and Sarah Jane Gonzales forced a 14-all deadlock. A net touch violation against UP, and a block on Palma from Sheena Chopitea, enabled the Army to take a 16-14 lead in the second technical timeout. Gonzaga and Bautista took over in the latter part of the set for a 23-20 lead. Molde and Rose Mary Cailing helped cut the Army lead to one, 24-23. Gonzaga then ended the match with a quick hit to notch the Lady Troopers’ fifth straight win.

“Congrats sa UP, hanga ako sa team ni coach Jerry (Yee), hindi mo pwedeng buruhin kaya dapat mas magpursige kami kahit sa huli nako-control namin,” said Army Head Coach Kungfu Reyes about the Lady Maroons, whose younger squad had put up a good fight.

“Dapat makuha agad namin ang first ball, lalo na threat ang attackers nila, lalo na sina Molde at Dorog na akala mo tatlong taon na naglalaro sa UAAP. Samahan mo pa sina Kathy (Bersola) at Nicole (Tiamzon), kaya ang receiving pinagtitibay naming at lagi ko sinasabi sa mga manlalaro ko na walang mananalo ng dalawang sets,” Reyes added.

Tubino fired 28 points, 22 coming from attacks, while Gonzaga chipped in 17 points along with nine digs. Bautista added 10 points together with 11 excellent digs for Army. Setter Sarah Jane Gonzales also tossed 32 excellent sets.
Molde finished with 15 points, and Dorog contributed 12 points along with 11 digs. Bersola and Tiamzon had eight markers apiece for the Lady Maroons.

The Lady Troopers finished the elimination round with 5-0 win-loss card and grabbed the number one seed. The Lady Maroons had a 2-3 win-loss record, tied with Philippine Navy Lady Sailors, but finished third due to quotient.

The Lady Troopers will face fourth-seed Lady Sailors at 12:45 PM, while second-seed PLDT Home Ultra Fast Hitters will tangle with the Lady Maroons at 3:00 PM in another semifinals series on November 22. The Lady Troopers and Ultra Fast Hitters both hold a twice-to-beat advantage against their opponents in the semifinals.
The Scores:

PHI Army(3) – Tubino 28, Gonzaga 17 , Bautista 10, Balse 4, Palma 4, Bunag 3, Gonzales 2, Carolino 0, Nunag 0, Salak 0, Agno (L), Torres(L)

UP(1) – Molde 15, Dorog 12, Bersola 8, Tiamzon 8, Carlos 6, Buitre 4, Chopitea 3, Lai 1, Basarte 0, Gaiser (L)

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